Iranian Defiance

(Ynet News) Ephraim Halevy - Tuesday's visit by Iranian Supreme National Security Council head Saeed Jalili to Damascus marked a sharp escalation in Iran's involvement in Syria's fate. He declared that Iran would not allow Assad's regime to fall. The campaign Iran has been conducting over the past few decades includes: a global terror campaign, both covert and overt, against Jewish, Israeli and other interests; and training non-state actors, such as Hizbullah to Israel's north, and Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the south. In addition, Iran has launched an intense and cruel intelligence war - most of it secret - in different locations around the world. Iran's increased involvement in Syria is not only indicative of its growing audacity, but also of how crucial the fight for Syria's future is to Iran's status in the region - and perhaps to the survival of the regime in Tehran. This is Iran's Achilles' heel. Jalili's visit to Syria was also aimed at telling Israel - we are here, on your northern border, not by way of our proxy (Hizbullah) or another non-state actor (Gaza), but with our own units and policies. We are here, in broad daylight, and we plan on staying. Iran's increased involvement in the region poses an immediate threat to Israel, but it also offers a rare opportunity which, if handled wisely, can turn Jalili's maneuvering in Damascus into a strategic mistake which can severely weaken the regime in Tehran - similar to the mistake Iraq made when it invaded Kuwait. The writer is a former director of Israel's Mossad intelligence agency.

2012-08-10 00:00:00

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